Roots-reggae heavyweights King Solomon are headed to Tadstock Festival at Kencot Hill Farm later this month. Ahead of their gig, we catch up with percussionist and backing vocalist Emmy Fearon, from Highworth.

Were you a musical child?

Yes. I wasn't musical at a young age but did enjoy dancing and acting. At the age of four, I started ballet and tap and stuck at it for about a year. Then, at 10, I joined Highworth Amateur Dramatic Society. Between the age of 5 and 10 I would always put on shows for my mum in the front room that would sometimes last for hours. I started learning the guitar at 18 to accompany myself and to make practising vocal exercises and songs easier. I taught myself to play by watching YouTube videos and playing songs that were far too difficult (really badly) until I got them right.

When did you know this was what you wanted to do with your life?

I realised I wanted a career in music as soon as I realised you don't necessarily have to be famous to be successful in the music industry. I studied music at the Academy of Music and Sound in Swindon. I was there from 18 to 20, and it was a great two years. I made some amazing friends and developed a lot as a vocalist.

Tell us about your journey before King Solomon?

When I first started out, I was playing in between the sets of a local band called The Hippie Club at pubs and venues in and around Swindon - until I felt ready, and had enough material to, play on my own. I then started singing in a duo called Culture Clash which, over time, grew in to a four-piece called The Casual Ties.

How did you meet the King Solomon?

I met King Solomon at Summer Breeze festival in 2014. As soon as I heard KS play, it took me back to when I was younger and my dad would play reggae cassettes and whistle along. I'd never sung any reggae before as I never thought it would suit my voice, but after a few practices with the band I felt really comfortable.

What is it like to be surrounded by and touring with –mainly- boys all the time?

At lot easier than I expected! Everybody is so chilled out and on the same level. Touring life for me is being sat in the back of Claude (the van), having to listen to Frank Zappa because Sam [Fryer ] and Jon [Salmon] are obsessed; and sleeping.

You have a child with Jon. Were you an item before you joined? Did he persuade you to be a part of the team?

I met Jon at Summer Breeze and then he introduced me to the rest of the band that night! I didn't need much persuasion to become a member, I was so excited as soon as it was first mentioned. It's great having a common interest that we're both so passionate about, and having someone to practice with and ask for help. It's quite full-on sometimes, as at any given time one of us is usually practicing, listening to or thinking about one of the songs. But it's second nature now.

 What’s next for the band?

We have a new album out this month, and we're going to be at events such as Boomtown, Tadstock and One Love Festival! This summer we've been given the opportunity to perform with the legendary Brinsley Forde, Aswad’s frontman.

Tadstock Festival near Lechlade runs from August 26 to 29. For the full line-up go to